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Senior living design trends for 2018

Senior Living Design

Senior living design trends for 2018

Public-facing fitness centers and “sense of place” design accents are among the emerging trends in senior living facilities, according to design firm studioSIX5. 

By studioSIX5 | January 31, 2018
Senior living design trends for 2018

Jewel tones, lush fabrics, and mixed metals highlights the interior design trends for 2018. Photo: studioSIX5

A trend is defined as a state of fashion or the general direction in which something is developing or changing. At studioSIX5, an interior design firm focused on senior living facilities, designers are helping senior living communities stay fashionable and ahead of the game, taking the lead as the change agents of the senior living industry.

As 2018 kicks off, the studioSIX5 team has forecasted the following trends for the senior living market:  

• Designing boutique and upscale communities for seniors and their baby boomer family members has been at the forefront of design considerations. But employee retention has become a new focus. Senior living communities are looking at ways they can cater to their employees’ needs in ways which result in increased efficiency and job satisfaction. Not only do operators want employees to feel comfortable while doing their job, they want them to feel valued as team members providing valuable care to residents.

• While integrated technology is now a norm, studioSIX5 anticipates that 2018 will bring about a heavier focus on building scalable technological capabilities into community infrastructures.

• The boom of building more urban communities in 2017 is creating a push to integrate senior living communities into master-planned communities, where amenities like salons, dining areas, and fitness centers are public-facing to encourage increased socialization with the community at large.• Designers are encouraging providers to include accent pieces and décor with local flavor, creating a sense of history and pride of place within a space. Mass-produced items have less character and feel less personal.


LED lighting is being incorporated beyond just saving energy and is being used more and more to promote healthy sleep patterns and reduce anxiety by aligning lamp color temperature with residents’ circadian rhythms. Photo: studioSIX5


• Consumer demand is causing manufacturers to embrace senior living requirements when designing products, materials, and furnishings. This rise in availability and variety will bring about more aesthetically-pleasing, functional products and furnishings for senior living.

• The use of less restrictive cooking technologies such as hoodless cooking, sous vide, and induction ranges will expand farm-to-table offerings and menu offerings to higher levels of care.

• Spaces with multiple uses and flexibility are still popular, but instead of having an area deemed as the “multipurpose room,” providers are looking at amenities that they can combine to serve a variety of purposes. For example, instead of having both a library and a coffee shop, they are combining the two.

• LED lighting is being incorporated beyond just saving energy and is being used more and more to promote healthy sleep patterns and reduce anxiety by aligning lamp color temperature with residents’ circadian rhythms.

• Luxe environments are moving beyond an understated elegance toward designs featuring jewel tones, mixed metals, and lush fabrics, allowing designers to create opulent custom pieces tailored to meet the needs of seniors.

• Senior living operators are creating opportunities for purposeful engagement in programming and operations, rather than simply providing activities. This encourages residents to participate in actual daily activities like meal prep, laundry, and gardening. The three zones of socialization will be used to create spaces which promote integration for each resident’s choice of socialization.


Designers are encouraging providers to include accent pieces and décor with local flavor, creating a sense of history and pride of place within a space. Mass-produced items have less character and feel less personal. Photo: studioSIX5

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